Mayor proclaims WMNF Polkateer Day, declines comment on ceasing of CAIR Day listen02/01/10 Joshua Lee Holton
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Today Mayor Pam Iorio awarded WMNF’s Polka Party Express show with the proclamation of February 1st as WMNF Polkateer day.
Recently the mayor of Tampa appeared on WMNF’s Sunday polka show. Today she issued a proclamation to honor the show and its fans. Proclamations are the fun part of the mayor’s job, because she says that they’re easy to say “yes” to. But some of the City's decisions about proclamations are more controversial.
The City of Tampa has issued a CAIR day each year since 2005 for the Council on American Islamic Relations. It established a day for which the Islamic group gained city-wide recognition. The Mayor said last June that she would no longer award proclamations for CAIR. WMNF asked her why; the Mayor declined to share her sources and reasons.
This morning WMNF Station Manager Jim Bennett thanked the mayor for issuing the station a proclamation last September, in which the City recognized WMNF for its values of freedom of expression, and cultural diversity. Bennett hopes that the City will reaffirm this as a standard by which proclamations are issued, and says that by its withdrawal of CAIR’s proclamation, the City is sending a mixed message.
Bennett says that embracing freedom of expression and giving voices to those that are closed out of the mainstream media are part of WMNF’s values.He says that giving community groups the right to be heard is part of those values, and is what the station is all about.